This article has been Fact-Checked by Kendall Kennedy MS, RD, RYT
Avocados often appear in weight loss food recommendations. Find out whether this is justified or if avocado is one of the many overhyped foods.
There are better options too but you can generally consider avocados to be decent to good for weight loss.
They contain an above-average amount of calories but a good amount of these come from filling fiber and fats. These can help you avoid foods that are less helpful for losing weight.
At the same time, you want to keep in mind that just adding avocado to your diet without making any other changes will generally lead to weight gain.
Micronutrients in avocados
The macronutrients like fats, carbs, and proteins in avocados appropriately get most of the attention when figuring out whether this food option is good for weight loss or not.
That being said, it can be interesting to look at the micronutrients, including vitamins and minerals, in avocados too. These nutrients are still involved in basically any area of your health, including weight loss.
100 grams of avocado provides you some of the following amounts of nutrients (1):
- Vitamin K: 26% of the DV (Daily Value)
- Folate: 20% of the DV
- Vitamin C: 17% of the DV
- Vitamin B5: 14% of the DV
- Potassium: 14% of the DV
- Vitamin B6: 13% of the DV
- Vitamin E: 10% of the DV
And a few others in smaller amounts.
Avocados offer nice amounts of a variety of vitamins and minerals. While they are not unique in this, avocados can be helpful to hit your daily nutrient goals.
There are also other a variety of other micronutrients like antioxidants in avocado. It is often not entirely clear how these influence weight loss and other areas of your health.
Fiber in avocados for weight loss
When finding out whether a plant-based food like avocado is good for weight loss or not, you definitely want to check out the amount of fiber in it.
The first reason for this is that fiber helps you feel fuller. At the same time, the calories in fiber do not really get absorbed into your actual body.
Since hunger and cravings are a big reason why people don’t stick to their weight loss diets, this is a valuable benefit of fiber.
Additionally, fiber tends to be good for the composition of your microbiome. These are the microbes that live in your intestines.
Your microbiome composition and in turn, gut health, tends to influence your weight and health. Making an effort to improve these can offer positive effects.
100 grams of avocado contains around 6.7 grams of fiber (1).
This is a relatively high amount of fiber compared to many foods. You can say that avocados tend to be useful for reducing hunger, reducing food cravings, and improving gut health.
These things tend to be helpful when losing weight.
Do avocados help you lose belly fat?
Many people get the impression that you have to eat certain foods to lose belly fat specifically. Unfortunately, this is not the case.
To lose belly fat, you have to lose enough weight overall. That means you need to consider how many calories avocados contain.
100 grams of avocados will contain around 160 calories (1).
About 30.6 of these calories come from carbohydrates (8.5 g per 100 grams of which 6.7 g fiber). This is a relatively low amount of net carbs which makes avocados a popular choice for low-carb diets like the ketogenic diet.
One medium avocado is about 150 grams which means it contains around 240 calories.
The number of calories in avocados tends to be higher than in most vegetables and fruits. That being said, compared to other food categories, the number of calories is reasonable.
Besides that, avocados contain nice amounts of fiber, vitamins, and minerals.
While it depends on the rest of your diet and other lifestyle habits, avocados tend to be helpful for losing weight and in turn, losing belly fat.
Avocado fat content
Something to note is that having a good weight loss diet does not only depend on the number of calories in it. The source of calories influences your weight loss and health too.
About 75% of the calories in avocados come from fat. This fat is about 71% monosaturated fatty acids, 13% polyunsaturated fatty acids and 16% saturated fatty acids (2).
Fats tend to be relatively filling. Especially if you compare them to “simple” carbohydrates like sugar and refined carbohydrates.
How inflammation influences weight loss is not entirely understood yet. However, it is typically considered to be bad for your health.
How much avocado should you eat a day to lose weight?
One medium avocado is about 150 grams. This comes down to about 240 calories.
Unfortunately, it is not possible to give a general guideline about how much avocado to eat that applies to every single individual.
How many grams of avocado you should eat to lose weight depends on details like the other foods in your diet, how much energy you use throughout the day, and your other lifestyle habits.
You can start with something like eating one avocado a day.
After that, you need to keep track of your weight loss progress. If you don’t make any progress, you need to make changes.
This can mean eating less avocado or making other changes in your lifestyle habits.
Keep in mind that there are also more long-term effects of eating avocado.
The vitamins and minerals in it can be valuable for your health. That means you may want to start by eating less of foods that are typically considered to be less healthy.
Different ways to eat avocado
By now, you understand that regular raw avocados can be decent to good for losing weight.
Something to note is that there are also different ways you can eat this food. How you prepare them can influence how helpful avocados will be for losing weight.
Avocado can be a great addition to a weight loss smoothie. Smoothies are basically as good for losing weight and health as the ingredients you put in them.
There are both avocado smoothies that are good and bad for losing weight.
If you really want to focus on weight loss you would lean toward using vegetables instead of fruits.
For example, bananas can be decent for weight loss but they are typically less helpful than many vegetables.
Additionally, you generally want to avoid sweeteners like honey and artificial sweeteners in your weight loss avocado smoothies.
Keep in mind that store-bought smoothies often contain exactly these things. Reading the nutrition label is often recommended.
Another popular way of eating avocado is in combination with toast.
Unfortunately, it is hard to make general statements about this combination since toast can vary so much in terms of nutrition details.
So whether avocado toast is helpful for losing weight depends a lot on the bread you use. White bread tends to be suboptimal for this goal whereas whole-grain bread tends to be decent.
Something else to keep in mind is that enjoying your diet more can help you stay consistent. Sometimes it is worth choosing slightly less optimal foods.
It is not the most popular dish but you can transform your avocados into fries too.
This basically comes down to cutting up the avocado, dipping the slices in a beaten egg, and coating them in breadcrumbs. After that, you bake them in the oven on an oil-coated sheet pan.
Eggs can be helpful for weight loss but the breadcrumbs tend to be suboptimal. Additionally, heating up the avocado can reduce the water content.
The result of this is that avocado fries are slightly less optimal for losing weight than the whole version.
Similar to the toast, how much you enjoy eating avocado fries can play a role. They likely won’t be the end of your weight loss journey.
You can also press the fats out of avocados (or visit the store for a bottle). Similar to olive oil, you have different degrees of processing, extra virgin being the least processed version (5).
Most people don’t consume oils with a spoon so the question becomes more about how avocado oil compares to other oils. For example, compared to something like olive oil.
Olive oil and avocado oil have very similar nutrient contents (7, 8). The main difference between the two is that olive oil contains slightly more vitamin E than avocado oil. Their smoke point is also different.
The smoke point is at which temperature oil starts to degrade and release harmful substances (9).
In general, avocado oil is one of the healthier cooking oils available. Do keep in mind that avocado oil contains up to 800 calories per 100 grams.
Avocado chocolate mousse
There are all kinds of “avocado chocolate” recipes around. Cake and mousse are the most common ones. Even though they can be “keto”, “low sugar” or “low carb” they are often suboptimal if you’re looking to lose weight.
These recipes almost always combine a lot of chocolate with avocado.
Even if you use the 70%+ cocoa ones, chocolate tends to be suboptimal for weight loss due to its high calorie content.
Similar to many food options, you can likely still have avocado chocolate mousse and lose weight. At the same time, you are likely making your journey more challenging than it has to be.
The best way to eat avocado to lose weight
Like with most foods, the best way to eat avocado if you want to lose weight is as unprocessed as possible.
You can cut one in half and add some salt and pepper. Two other options include putting avocado in a healthy salad or smoothie.
Keeping things simple can save you time and effort. This can help with consistency.
On the other hand, enjoying the food you eat can be helpful. Even if it looks somewhat less optimal for losing weight on paper.
How to pick the right avocado
One of the challenges of avocados is buying ones that are not too ripe and knowing when you can eat them. In general, the greener they are the less ripe.
The best way to know if they are right is by gently squeezing one in your palm. If it is still very firm it will have to ripe some more. If you can squeeze it too much it might be too ripe.
Practice makes perfect, the more you eat avocados the better you will get at buying and eating them at just the right moment.
You can speed up the ripening process by putting an avocado in a paper bag together with a banana.
How do avocados help you lose weight?
Avocados can help you lose weight by making you feel fuller without adding that many calories to your diet. If this helps you avoid foods that are less helpful for weight loss, avocados can help you lose weight.
At the same time, you need to keep in mind that just adding avocados to your current routine could make you gain weight.
You also have to implement other positive changes to see results.